Across Continents

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Dodgy German

These weren’t words, these were whole sentences in one. I was finding German hard going. My parents had warned me to watch out for the umlauts. I promised I would. Quite fancied a cheese one. I thought the bike would help me blend in. Lots of serious German engineering. And built like a tank. She’d enjoyed rolling across the plains towards Eastern Europe. And I’d Neff in the kitchen.

Despite the language difficulties, I was beginning to feel much more European. Yes, I was advancing ever deeper into the German hinterland, but it was more than that. They thought I was French. And things were improving – I’d discovered how to transliterate the strange squiggly ’B’, and in the process realised that German for ’large’ is ’gross’, which even I could remember. So bigger portions of pommes (’frites’ in France).

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